The College of Informatics Communication department offered a new class on information framing this semester. JOU 395, taught and created by Stacie Jankowsi, allows students to dig deeper into the concept of information framing, also known as media framing.
“Media framing is a media studies theory that basically says that the way we tell stories matters…the way stories are told impacts audiences,” says Jankowski. One example reviewed in the class was media reports surrounding the Gabby Petito case, and why the missing woman was receiving more media attention than other stories.
Through the first part of the semester, the class examined media theories and media framing research. In the latter half, students will complete their own research projects. Jankowsi’s goal is for students to be able to present their research at the celebration for student research and creativity in the spring, should they choose to.
Elijah Walker, a journalism student, is enrolled in Information Framing this semester. Although he has not yet decided what to do his research project on, he is enjoying the discussion-based nature of the class. “We’re talking about one research article . . . then we’re all having a big open discussion about that, where it falls in with specifically what we’re talking about and researching and also how it intersects in any other aspects of journalism or research in general,” Walker says.
More than just the project, Walker is learning valuable information for a future in Journalism, concepts Jankowski wasn’t introduced to until her postgraduate studies. These theories can be incredibly impactful in how a journalist write their stories. “We get the understanding of our world through media,” Jankowski shared. As a result, the way media stories are told matters.
“There’s so much more going on with the things that we consume than we would think. I watch a lot of bad TV, those messages, even though they’re silly and entertainment can change the way I think about things even if I don’t intend for them to,” Jankowski says. For her, the goal of the class is for her students to be aware of these issues, and become more critical consumers and creators of media.
For more information on the journalism program in the College of Information, visit nku.edu/academics/informatics/programs/undergraduate/journalism.html.